One of the hazards of becoming a full-time Illustrator is that you find it hard to just sit down and draw for fun.
What I've noticed in the past couple of years is that whenever I sit down to draw the first thought that goes through my head is "How can I make money off of this?"
It can put a real damper on enjoying the act of sketching.
Especially when you're in a slow period.
When all you're thinking about is how to get more work so you can pay the bills.
I do my best to fight off the "Money making blues" the best I can when I open up my sketchbook so that I can let my brain wander and relieve some stress.
I draw whatever comes to mind and try to fill up the pages with as many images as I can.
Sometimes they lead to an idea for a project that I can use as an Illustrator.
Like the image below.
I had been sketching birds in my sketchbook.
I often draw birds and bugs when I let my brain run free.
I guess it's due to a love of nature and a library full of books I read in school.
The image you see above originally started out as an idea for a simple animation for my church to show before services start. I decided to do it on my own and bring it in to show.
I haven't done the animation yet. I have to fire up my old G4 and open up my Flash program and learn how to use it properly.
I made a couple of animations way back when, but I never got the timing right.
So I'll have to spend some time experimenting.
While I was working out the bird characters I started liking the image as a moment in time and thought it would be good for a example of my digital art.
If you've followed this blog at all, you'll know that it's mostly traditional art that I post here.
I prefer to do my art traditionally lately because I spent 8 years doing mostly digital art and started missing being able to hold the finished piece in my hands and be proud of what I accomplished.
I do however still like being able to digital art.
I just like it to be kind of flat and graphic, not realistic.
So I decided to work this image up as a promo piece to send in an e-mail to prospective clients. Above.
One of the other habits you'll develop as a freelancer is that you will try to get as many uses as you can out of one image.
In this case the image will be used as the promo piece, the animation, and a mock-up of a book sample piece. Below.
As you can see, I cropped the image so that it would work as a two page spread.
So I have managed to take one image and figure out 3 ways to use it.
1. As an e-mail promo piece.
2. As a digital portfolio piece.
3. and as a animation.
I might even take these characters and work up a couple of more mock up book pages, or a simple story.